Are you ready? Tornado Preparedness Checklist What is the difference between a watch and a warning? A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm down to the ground. Tornadoes are capable of completely destroying well- made structures, uprooting trees and hurling objects through the air like deadly projectiles. Although severe tornadoes are more common in the Plains States, tornadoes have been reported in every state.
Before a Tornado hits. How to Prepare?
✓ Stay informed – Signup for your local community warning system or go to http://public.alertsense.com/SignUp/ ✓ Designate a safe room where to gather: in the basement, in a storm cellar or at least a room with no windows. ✓ Mobile homes are not Tornado safe, consider the distance you would have to travel to reach the closest sturdy building. ✓ Check and secure lawn furniture, trash cans or any mobile object the wind can transform into a projectile. ✓ Practice Tornado drills with all family members. ✓ Remember the safety of your pets. ✓ Check for signs of approaching Tornadoes: ✓ Large hail/often without rain ✓ Dark/sometime greenish sky ✓ A loud roar / ‘freight train’-like noise. ✓ Cloud of debris, even if you do not see a funnel. ✓ The air is suddently being very still.
Tornado Watch Tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. Review and discuss your emergency plans, and check supplies and your safe room. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching. Acting early helps to save lives!
Tornado Warning A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Tornado warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Go immediately underground to a basement, storm cellar or an interior room (closet, hallway or bathroom).
Imminent Tornado or already on the ground. What to do now?
✓ Do not wait until you see it. Go to your safe room now! ✓ If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a sturdy building. ✓ Drive to a close shelter if you are in your car (seat belt buckled!) ✓ A sturdy shelter is more appropriate than staying in your car. ✓ If debris is already flying, stay in your car, pull to the side and park, put your head down below windows and cover with your hands or a blanket. ✓ If you can safely get to a lower spot below the level of the road, then lie in that area and cover your head with your hands. ✓ The best alternative could be driven by your circumstances.
Help is on the way, but it could take hours or even days before responders reach you. Prepare and be ready when a tornado hits!
Be Informed, Make a Plan, Be Ready. To receive notifications, sign up with your local County/City authorities or at http://public.alertsense.com/SignUp/
After the storm. What next?
✓ Continue to check the news/ TV / your alerting systems for updates. ✓ Inspect your home for damage , leaks or gas smell ✓ Report any structural damage or power line down to authority ✓ Clean up any spill that could lead to a fire and if you do smell gas, open the windows and abandon your location at once. ✓ Provide first aid (if you are trained) until responders arrive. ✓ Take pictures of the damage for insurance purposes. ✓ Check on your pets and keep them under your control.
References: www.fema.gov www.ready.gov www.redcross.org